Nearly 3,000 Sign Petition Against King Street Cycle Lane

Supporters of scheme dismiss concerns it has made roads less safe

Congestion on King Street, Hammersmith. Picture: Liam Downer-Sanderson

A petition against the newly implemented cycle lane on King Street has attracted nearly 3,000 signatures not long after being launched.

Supporters of the petition are calling for the bikes-only path along King Street in Hammersmith to be taken out, saying it causes “havoc”.

The route was introduced by Labour-led Hammersmith and Fulham Council as part of its overall plan to create a safe cycling route linking up with the rest of Cycleway 9 in Chiswick which is currently being under construction to allow changes to be made to the original design. The petition to scrap the bi-directional cycleway has been signed by nearly 3,000 people, who claim it is unsafe for cyclists and causes congestion and delays.

The petition was launched by two Conservative candidates – Hugo FitzGerald and Liam Downer-Sanderson – who are planning to contest Ravenscourt Park ward in the May local elections. The ward is currently held by Labour, who won all three seats in 2018, but has been represented by Conservative councillors in the past.

It says, “The cycle lane impedes emergency vehicles, is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, increases congestion and hence pollution, ended the King Street bus lane, and reduces parking space which negatively affects local businesses.”

Locals expressed their fury with petition comments. Michele Weininger said, “These new road measures are ridiculous and dangerous. They have created massive traffic jams in King Street and now the buses get stuck behind slow moving cars! Absolutely crazy!”

Julia Watkins said, “It’s causing more traffic and congestion, especially when buses are at stops. Emergency services are unable to get past.”

The King Street route has been implemented under an Experimental Traffic Order which means that feedback can be given by the public which will determine whether or not it remains in place. The council is committed to the route describing it as ‘semi-permanent’ and has received several million pounds of funding from central government to implement the scheme and changes around the Hammersmith Gyratory.

Mr Downer-Sanderson claims the number of cycling collisions on King Street has doubled since 2020. He said, “It is nigh impossible to retro-fit cycle lanes on to busy main roads without a huge negative impact on everyone.

“Residents clearly agree and councils such as Hammersmith and Fulham Council have got to put their residents’ views ahead of the vociferous extremist cycle lobby. Emergency vehicles are being delayed, creating a risk lives will be needlessly lost.”

Hugo FitzGerald and Liam Downer-Sanderson next to cycle lane. Picture: Elizabeth Gahan

However, there is also a substantial body of local opinion in favour of the new road layout. Leo Murray, a local father and chair of cycling campaign group W6 Safe Cycling Families, said, “The lane is fantastic. It’s packed with parents and children. It’s already well used.”

Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Cycling Group Casey Abaraonye said the majority of people living nearby did not have cars and the route was now safer for cyclists, walkers and disabled residents to get about.

He added, “It’s a massive improvement. King Street is a high street, not a highway. If we look at any high street operating at a decent capacity, the first thing we notice about it is that it isn’t flooded by cars.”

Chiswick resident Ruth Mayorcas, 68, who cycles along the route daily, said she felts safe. “It keeps people [away from] heavy goods lorries, delivery vans and taxis. What’s dangerous is driver behaviour,” she said.

“Unfortunately the roads in London have been so hostile for so long for women, children, and older men who want to use a bike to get around like they do in Europe.”

Councillor Wesley Harcourt, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We have the farcical situation where the Conservative candidates for Ravenscourt claim they can make the ward cleaner and greener and the air quality better by encouraging as many cars as possible into Hammersmith and digging up the safe cycling pathway.

“This is the most puerile political opportunism. It flies in the face of a policy funded and supported by both their own Conservative government and the Mayor’s transport strategy for London.

“Hugo and Liam offer no solutions for safe cycling or tackling the climate emergency. We, on the other hand, are getting on with the hard graft of reducing emissions and encouraging safe cycle routes that meet the interests of all road-users.

“London is too congested and any new scheme to tackle that congestion takes time to bed in. That’s why we will continue to work with TfL on practical solutions whilst always, as ever, consulting local residents and businesses on the future of the cycle path. “

Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

February 23, 2022